Deadpool's Second Frame Matches First Weekend Expectations
By John Hamann
February 21, 2016
It was a close race for second as opener Risen faced off against holdover Kung Fu Panda 3. In the end, second spot went to Kung Fu Panda 3, as it works to survive following the long weekend. After a tiny 7% drop last weekend and a $19.8 million frame, the mighty panda was set to fall. The Jack Black threequel earned $12.5 million in its fourth frame, and as expected, drops a hurtful 37%. Still, the DreamWorks flick has brought its domestic total up to $117.1 million and its overseas total had reached $162.6 million prior to the start of the weekend, and has earned that from only four overseas markets (including China). It needs to earn about $435 million to succeed globally, and should easily reach that mark when it opens in the rest of the planet in March.
Risen, the new faith-based release from Sony and Columbia Pictures, finished in third place. The Joseph Fiennes starrer earned $4 million on Friday (a few hundred thousand came from a Thursday preview), a decent first day, but still $12.2 million behind Deadpool's second Friday. Risen was able to turn that Friday into a $11.8 million weekend. Sony put Risen out to 2,915 venues, and it earned an average of $4,048. I'm not sure why Sony decided to release this one here and not closer to Easter. Batman vs Superman opens on Easter weekend, but this could have played as counter-programming, had Miracles from Heaven, the upcoming bible thumper with Jennifer Garner, not chosen the weekend before Easter to debut. The weekend before Miracles opens, The Young Messiah has its first weekend, so the faith-based crowd is going to be busy in the lead up to Easter.
Risen is reported to have cost $20 million to make, so this kind of opening is a decent start. If it can find $40 million or more stateside, it will need to earn another $20 million overseas to work financially. The problem with this model is that overseas audiences don't embrace these films like North Americans do. War Room earned $67 million stateside and only a few million overseas. Heaven is for Real earned $91 million stateside and only $9 million from international venues. Risen may work better, as it is more of a historical re-telling than some of its compatriots. Critically, Risen was mixed, with only 67 reviews counted, delivering a 39 fresh/28 rotten split for a 58% rating. The Cinemascore was a solid A-, which puts that $40 million domestic take in play.
The Witch, upstart distributor A24's inexpensive pickup, finishes in fourth. The Witch, a film that looks European but is actually an American/Canadian production, caused a commotion last year at the Sundance Film Festival, and some have been anticipating a more general release. That release finally hit this weekend, and The Witch is a mini-hit. Out to only 2,046 venues, The Witch still managed to pull in $8.7 million for the weekend. That gives A24 a venue average of $4,245 and is already a good investment on their $1 million dollar pickup fee. Of course, P&A comes after the $1 million investment, which means the company likely put at least $5 million into this one. These kinds of numbers should make The Witch somewhat profitable, depending on what it does next weekend.